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FoxTrot is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Amend. As of December 2006, FoxTrot was carried by more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide.[1] From its inception in 1988 it was published daily until December 31, 2006, when Amend switched to a Sunday-only format.[1]

The strip revolves around the daily lives of the Fox family, composed of parents Andrea (Andy, 42) and Roger Fox (45), and their children, Peter (16), Paige (14), and Jason (10). It covers a wide range of subject matter, including spoofs of pop culture fads, nerd culture, and popular consumer products.

HistoryEdit

Template:Expand section Amend states that after he submitted strips for three years, in 1987 Universal Press Syndicate offered him a contract.[2] FoxTrot was first published on April 10, 1988, under the syndication of Universal Press Syndicate.[3][4]

On December 5, 2006, Universal Press Syndicate issued a press release stating that Amend's strip, FoxTrot, would turn into a Sunday-only strip. Amend stated that he wants to continue doing the strip, but at a less hurried pace.[5] This news was followed by several weeks of the characters discussing a "cartoonist" semi-retiring to Sundays only, and what methods he would use to phase out the daily strips. The last daily Foxtrot cartoon was printed on December 30, 2006.[6]

CharactersEdit

Main article: List of FoxTrot characters

The FoxTrot comic centers on the daily lives of the Fox family, composed of father Roger, wife Andy, and their children: Peter, Paige, and Jason, who live together in the same house. Additional minor characters include Jason's pet iguana, Quincy; Jason's friend Marcus and classmate, Eileen Jacobson; Paige's friend Nicole and her classmate Morton Goldthwait; Peter's girlfriend Denise and his friend Steve; and other friends and classmates of the children and Roger's co-workers.

SettingsEdit

The Fox family lives in a suburban setting. Several storylines in the strip have focused on summer vacation trips to various places. Early on, the Fox family spent summer vacation at "Uncle Ralph's Cabin".[7] Later vacations by the Fox family have included trips to Hawaii, Washington D.C., the desert, various amusement parks, and campgrounds. In a series of strips though, references are made implying that they live in or near Chicago. However, Amend has denied this and claims that he has never given a particular location or name for where they live.

Early in the strip's run, FoxTrot often dealt with societal issues such as drug abuse.[8]

Popular culture referencesEdit

In addition to family humor, the strip has many stories built around fandom and popular culture. In one example, Jason was playing chess with his friend Marcus, but the game was tweaked into being a modified Dungeons and Dragons.[9]

On occasion, there have been a few celebrity guest appearances in the strip, such as The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Amend majored in physics at Amherst College,[10] and his knowledge of physics is sometimes reflected in FoxTrot's frequent inclusion of complex mathematical or physics formulae, usually written by Jason. Jason is also used to express Amend's knowledge of computer languages.[11]

BooksEdit

Main article: List of FoxTrot books

The strips have been printed in thirty-nine different books, all by Andrews McMeel Publishing. Of the 39 books, 27 are collections and 12 are anthologies. The anthologies are composed of the two or three previous collections, and include Sunday strips in color.

MerchandisingEdit

During the late 1990s, the character of Jason Fox was licensed to Wolfram Research as a product spokesman for its Mathematica software package.[12]

Critical receptionEdit

Template:Expand section In a 1990 article which reviewed various then-current comic strips, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave FoxTrot a "B" rating, calling it "the most idiosyncratic comic strip to debut since Calvin and Hobbes" and describing the Fox family as "believable."[13]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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